MGM Studios in Walt Disney World is home to headliner attractions such as Tower of Terror, and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster. This Disney World Park will take at least one full day to tour.
The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror is one of Disney Studios headliner thrill rides. You won’t have any trouble finding it, as this thirteen storey “hotel” looms menacingly over the rest of the park. Before boarding the elevator ride, you walk through the eerie haunted hotel. Once in the elevator, you are strapped (seatbelt round waist) in your seat.
Then the lift plummets, at mega speed, and rises to the top again without warning to plummet again. The sequence of the drops are different each time you ride, but the one thing you are guaranteed is a mega fast drop.
I love the Twilight Zone Terror of Terror, but the rest of my family won’t ride. My son did do it when he was four, but he hasn’t ridden since. Disney have toned down the scare factor a lot over the years. It doesn’t seem as fast, and instead of having a metal bar over your legs, you have a seat belt.
Most people who are scared are usually petrified before they even board the elevator. On our last trip, one young girl of about 12 was crying before she boarded the elevator, and she was practically hysterical by the end of the ride. If your children are visually intimidated by the ride, they will not enjoy it. But, any child above five who wants to ride, and is not scared whilst waiting in line, will probably be fine.
Ride early in the day, straight after Rock n Roller Coaster or get a fastpass. On busy days, fastpasses sell out fast, so go early.
Scare Factor 5
Has the potential to absolutely terrify many children and some adults.
Rock n Roller Coaster
Located next to the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, the Rock n Roller coaster is MGM studio’s second headliner thrill ride. First, you enter Aerosmith’s recording studio, where the band are practising. Their manager informs them that they are late for a gig at the other side of town, and guess what, you the lucky passenger will get to go there too. But, of course you are late, so you have to get there super quick. And don’t worry, you will. Your ‘car’, which seats two passengers, side by side goes from 0 to 57 miles per hour in just over 2 seconds!
The roller coaster loops in the dark, but don’t worry, as you’re going so fast that you barely notice the loops at all!
If you love rollercoasters, and Aerosmith, you will enjoy this attraction. Those with a fear of coasters, or an aversion to noise will probably want to avoid it. Children over the age of seven who enjoy Roller Coaster will probably enjoy it.
Scare Factor 5 – Seniors, young children, and anyone with an aversion to Roller Coasters may want to avoid this one.
Star Tours is a simulated flight through space, which is based on the Star Wars films. The fun begins when the droid controlling the ship loses control, and you literally blast off into galaxy. There is a lot of movement on this realistic simulator – but don’t worry, you will be wearing a seatbelt.
We love this attraction. Lines barely get too long, so we always get a fastpass, after we’ve experienced the headliners.
Scare Factor 3 – Because Star Tours is a bumpy ride, and you do feel like you are travelling at light speed, some children under 7 could be scared by it, whilst others will love it. Use your own judgement of your young child’s likes and dislikes on this one.
Voyage of the Little Mermaid
This is a musical stage show featuring the cast of the Little Mermaid. For young children who are a fan of the Little Mermaid, this show, with outstanding special effects is not to be missed.
The children are getting too old for the Little Mermaid now, but when our daughter was younger we didn’t miss this one. If you have Little Mermaid fans in your party, go within the first hour of park opening, or use fastpass.
Scare Factor 1 – not a bit scary.
The Great Movie Ride
This a a slow moving adventure through famous movies, including Alien, The Wizard of Oz and Casablanca. Cars hold around 6 people and the ride lasts almost thirty minutes. Part of the attraction involves the participation of Disney Cast members, and you find yourself in the middle of a real shootout.
Some say this attraction is becoming a bit stale. We don’t agree. It is a must do for us each trip – both adults and kids. Although the attraction is not particularly scary, a couple of the scenes such as the Alien one, and the shootout, have the potential to scare very young children. Despite loading quickly, the Great Movie Ride attracts huge crowds, so go before noon, or wait until later in the day.
Scare Factor 3 – Some scenes have the potential to scare young children.
A funny film show featuring Drew Carey. The audience wear earphones to add realism to the effects.
Our Opinion: Although this show is fun, it’s not a must do for us each trip. See it if you have time, when you’ve done the headliners, if the lines are not too long.
Scare Factor: 2 – although not scary for adults, some young children may the noise too intense, and may get scared when the theatre suddenly becomes very dark.
Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage
An extremely popular outdoor musical featuring stars from Beauty and the Beast.
Our Opinion: This is a fabulous show. Do turn up at least 30 minutes early as it is extremely popular. Although you are seated under a canopy, it will still be uncomfortably hot during the summer, so you might want to see it in the early evening, as opposed to the afternoon.
Scare Factor 1: not scary at all.
Jim Henson’s Muppet Vision 3D
An hilarious 3D show, starring the cast of the muppets, with some outstanding 3D effects.
Our Opinion: Unmissably for children and adults alike. Do this one after you’ve completed the headliners, or try it late in the afternoon.
Scare Factor 1 – not scary at all.
Who Wants To Be A Millionaire
Just like the TV show, the audience get to participate. Those who are the fastest with their fingers get to sit in the hot seat. This is slightly different to the real show, as Disney is not giving away a million to the winner, but the top prize is a three night Disney Cruise. Also, rather than phone a friend, you get to phone a cast member instead, who will then grab the nearest park visitor to answer your question!
Our Opinion: If your family loves the TV show, you will enjoy Who Wants To Be a Millionaire. The very youngest children may get a bit bored though.
Scare Factor: 1 – not one bit scary. However, if the show featured Ann Robinson, from the UK version of millionaire, we’d probably need to increase the scare factor to 4!
One Man’s Dream
A tribute film to Walt Disney, on his personal life and the Disney business.
Our Opinion: An inspiring film, which almost brought me to tears. Disney fans will love it, although younger children may get bored.
Scare Factor 1: Not one bit scary.
Playhouse Disney Live On Stage
A fun indoor show, featuring Bear in the Big Blue House and friends. Seating is indoors, on the floor.
Our Opinion: Unmissable if you have preschoolers with you – they will love meeting Bear in real life. Try to get there 30 minutes before show time to ensure you get a seat.
Scare Factor 1 – not one bit scary.
The Magic of Disney Animation
An overview of Disney Animation, and how Disney characters are created. Afterwards you are able to learn to draw a character – but get in line as soon as you leave the show if you want to secure a place.
Our Opinion: This one is ok, but not a must do, and young ones may get a bit bored. Sometimes there are photo opportunities with a character, straight after the show. Last time we went, the featured character was Chicken Little. If your child wants to take advantage of the is one – get in line as soon as you leave the show, or you will have a long wait.
Scare Factor 1 – nothing remotely frightening here.
Disney MGM Studio’s Backlot Tour
After showing how some special film effects are created, you will be taken in a tram on a tour of the backlot. The most intense moment is Catastrophe Canyon, and this is the point where you are liable to get wet.
Our Opinion – This headliner attraction is unmissable, but do wrap up warm if you’re visiting in the Winter, as it can get cold sitting on the tram – especially after getting soaked at Catastrophe Canyon. Fun for adults and kids alike. We usually save this one for afternoons.
Scare Factor 2 – Some younger children may get a little scared at Catastrophe Canyon, and some adults may fear getting drenched.
Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular (Fastpass)
An outdoor stunt show, with professional stunt people carrying out stunts from the Indiana Jones movies, and showing how they’re done.
Our Opinion: This show is fun to watch, but do remember that it is outdoors. If it is extremely hot, or extremely cold, your enjoyment may be diminished due to your discomfort levels. This Walt Disney World show is definitely worth seeing if weather allows though.
Scare Factor: 1 – not particularly scary at all.